An Unusual File-Sharing Case To Say The Least

Minnesota has always been an interesting and often unpredictable state when it comes to politics and law.  That's why a court case against 30 year old Jammie Thomas is certainly worth following.

Thomas has been accused of sharing over 1700 songs via Kazaa.  Things get interesting when she, along with numerous other Kazaa users, received a spam message (Wait, isn't that against the TOS?) that warned users of the file-sharing service that they were violating copyright law.  So far this is nothing new, we've all heard this kind of story before.

Things get interesting when you talk about the date the she allegedly received the TOS-violating spam, which would be 2/21/2005.  Mrs. Thomas had claimed that she had her computer drive replaced prior to this date during deposition for an earlier case.  Then she claimed that she had it replaced after that date, and that using Kazaa was part of a case study for a college course she was taking over the 'net during a 2001 trial.

That's not even where the confusion ends, but just where it begins.  Here are more zany legal antics:

“She acknowledged she listened to _ or owned CDs released by _ more than 60 of the artists whose music was in the Kazaa file-sharing folder at the heart of the case. Thomas denied the folder was hers.

"Did you ever have Kazaa on your computer?" Thomas's attorney, Brian Toder, asked her.

"No," Thomas said.

Earlier in the day, Thomas set up her computer in court to show the jury how quickly CDs could be copied onto it. That demonstration came in response to testimony from an expert for the record companies, Doug Jacobson, who said the songs on one of Thomas' computer drives were copied at a pace so fast it suggested piracy.”

So she did haze Kazaa in one trial, but when she was found innocent she forgot about it for another trial.  Interesting.

It's extremely difficult to decide who holds the moral high ground when you've got defendants behaving erratically at best, and a plaintiff who has had numerous complaints against their methods of information gathering.